Russian TV Producers Introduce Salary Cap for Actors

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Moscow

They'll try to reduce costs as networks cut down on buying content.

As Russia’s economy sinks deeper into recession, leading production companies plan to introduce a salary cap for TV series' actors in a move similar to one dating back to 2009.

The Russian business daily Kommersant quoted several anonymous participants in a recent meeting of the Association of TV and Movie Producers as saying that there are plans to set a salary cap at 100,000 rubles ($1,488) per shooting day for actors.

With the overall economic conditions worsening and the ruble continuing its downward spiral, major television networks are cutting down on content acquisition. As a result, production companies can no longer afford salaries of between $5,000 and $20,000 per shooting day, which most popular TV actors have collected so far.

In accordance with a recent report by Goldman Sachs, ad sales on Russian television are likely to decline by 20 to 30 percent this year, compared with 2014.

So far, only one half of TV ad spots on major federal networks have been sold, and networks' spending on content is predicted to decline by about 40 percent this year, which could lead to the shrinking of Russia's $700- million-a-year TV series market by almost 50 percent, Kommersant reported.

Russian production companies made a similar move in 2009, as the TV series' market shrank dramatically in the wake of a global economic downturn. Back then, a cap of 82,000 rubles ($2,300 at the exchange rate of the time) per shooting day was introduced.

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